Nine Practitioners Share Lifestyle Tips For Naturally Managing Endometriosis Symptoms

Nine Practitioners Share Lifestyle Tips For Naturally Managing Endometriosis Symptoms

This guest blog post was written by Sabina Braverman, MPA, with tips from some amazing practitioners from around the globe.

Disclaimer: the information in this article is for educational purposes only and is not designed to replace individualized recommendations from a practitioner. Always check with your doctor before adding supplements or making changes to your treatment plan.

In the last post of our Happy Hormones blog series, we are talking about endometriosis; a painful inflammatory condition in which tissue similar to uterine tissue (endometrium) grows in other parts of the body. Typically, with endometriosis, this tissue ends up infiltrating areas such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, bowel, and even the bladder.

Read on to learn more about this condition, which is said to affect more than 11% of American women between the ages of 15 and 44. Plus, we've included nine symptom-fighting tips from nine brilliant practitioners.

"The most common symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain."

What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a condition that occurs when tissue similar to that which lines the uterus (known as the endometrium) ends up growing in areas where it doesn't belong in.
 
Although the growths associated with endometriosis are not cancerous, they still can cause a host of issues.
 
Think about it: just as our uterine lining bleeds and swells during menstruation, so do the growths associated with endometriosis. Unlike the tissue lining the uterus which is expelled during your period, however, endometrial tissue located elsewhere in the body does not have the same ability to evacuate each month.
 
This means that this tissue has the potential to cause painful swelling in all of the areas that it is present. In addition to causing inflammation in the body, this tissue can also potentially block fallopian tubes, cause pelvic pain, create ovarian cysts, form scar tissue, and can eventually lead to difficulty conceiving.

What are the Symptoms of Endometriosis?

The most common symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain that is tied to your menstrual cycle. Although pain during menstruation is quite a common complaint, endometriosis pain is typically described as being more severe and as getting worse with time.
 
OTHER COMMON SYMPTOMS

Additional symptoms of endometriosis include:

      • Painful Menstruation (Dysmenorrhea)
      • Painful Intercourse
      • Painful Bowel Movements
      • Painful Urination
      • Excessive Menstrual Bleeding
      • Infertility
      • Fatigue
      • Nausea
      • Bloating

How Do I Know If I Have Endometriosis?

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of endometriosis, the first step is to talk to your doctor!

Your Doctor Will Likely:

      • Conduct a pelvic examination
      • Order an ultrasound or MRI
      • Perform laparoscopic surgery

Note: Surgery is the only true way to determine if you have endometriosis. Although your doctor can diagnose you with endometriosis by visualizing your growths, taking tissue samples will allow them to study the endometrial tissue in depth.

Naturally Alleviate Endometriosis Symptoms

Symptoms of endometriosis have you feeling hopeless? Check out these incredible tips from nine passionate practitioners taken from our free Period Tips e-book.
1. Know Your Enemy
 Dr. Lara Briden (ND) says you should “know that endometriosis is not a hormonal condition. It’s an inflammatory disease that’s affected by hormones.”
 
2. Fiber is Your Friend
Certified women’s health coach, Jolinda Johnson (CHHC, M.S.Ed), suggests that you “eat a diet high in fiber, especially cruciferous vegetables, to eliminate excess estrogen from the body and foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation. Consider taking a DIM (Diindolylmethane) supplement and Calcium D-Glucarate to further support the liver in metabolizing estrogen.”
 
3. Green Tea Can Help
Doctor and endometriosis specialist, Dr. Masahide Kanayama, MD, asserts that “the endometriosis diet should be anti-inflammatory. Green tea is also recommended for endometriosis patients.”
 
4. Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods
According to registered dietician nutritionist and women’s health expert Cory Levin (MS, RDN), you should “focus on anti-inflammatory foods: think bright colorful fruits and veggies, omega-3-rich fish, and lots of turmeric.”
 
5. Consume Healthy Fats
Naturopathic doctor, Dr. Meghan McNaughton (ND), explains that “following an anti-inflammatory diet rich in veggies and fiber, healthy fats (Omega-3), and plant-based protein will improve symptoms.”
 
6. Avoid Dairy & Gluten
According to functional nutrition practitioner, Amanda Montalvo (RD, FDN-P)  you should "avoid dairy and gluten—dairy especially. Endometriosis is known as an inflammatory disease, thus, reducing inflammatory foods can help manage symptoms. To help reduce inflammation, consider supplementing with N-acetyl cysteine (NAC). Also, low zinc levels have been associated with increased inflammation in women with endometriosis; get your zinc levels tested and supplement accordingly.”
 
7. Remove Endocrine Disruptors
Naturopathic doctor, Dr. Laura Pipher (ND), suggests that you "remove plastics and endocrine disruptors from your environment (food storage containers, water bottles, personal care products including anything containing parabens and phthalates), increase foods high in omega 3 (flaxseed, hemp hearts, fish), and increase green leafy vegetables.”
 
8. Eat Low FODMAP Foods
Naturopathic doctor Dr. Alexsia Priolo (ND) , says that “unfortunately there isn’t a cure for endo, but there are many practitioners that can help you manage your pain. In addition to your doctor, consider adding a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist, Massage Therapist, Sex Therapist, and/or Naturopathic Doctor to your health team. Because IBS is so common in people with endometriosis, you may want to look into LowFODMAP diet to see if it will provide any relief for your symptoms.”
 
9. Ginger is a Life-saver

Naturopathic Doctor, and endo warrior, Dr. Caleigh Sumner (ND), says "this is one I suffer from, so I have tried everything! Ginger is so simple and such a savior. A couple ginger capsules a day before you start bleeding, and during, can reduce your need for other pain medications.”

Get Social

Endometriosis can be painful, but it does not need to be isolating!

Check out some of these amazing endo warriors and give them a follow! Remember, you do not have to go through this journey alone.


 

About The Practitioners

Dr. Lara Briden is a naturopathic doctor and the period revolutionary— leading the change to better periods. Informed by a strong science background and more than twenty years with patients, Lara is a passionate communicator about women's health and alternatives to hormonal birth control. Her book Period Repair Manual is a manifesto of natural treatment for better hormones and better periods and provides practical solutions using nutrition, supplements, and natural hormones.  
 
Jolinda Johnson is a Women's Health Coach who empowers her clients to become their own experts by giving them the support they need to experience balanced hormones, pain-free periods, and fearless fertility. Read Jolinda's posts on the fertility diet and the four seasons of menstruation today!
 
Dr. Kanayama specializes in the diagnosis, advanced excision treatment, and comprehensive care of endometriosis patients.
 
Cory Levin is a Registered Dietitian and runs a virtual private practice out of San Francisco, CA where she specializes in hormone health, fertility, and digestion. Be sure to check out Cory's posts on self love and male factor infertility.
 
Dr McNaughton is a Naturopathic Doctor with a special interest in women's health, fertility, and digestion. She works with her patients to identify the underlying cause and barriers that are preventing them from reaching their health goals.
 
Amanda Montalvo is an Integrative Dietitian that runs Your Non Toxic Life, a blog, nutrition consulting service, and Facebook group that helps women detoxify their minds and bodies and balance their hormones. Want to learn more from Amanda? Go read her posts on estrogen dominance, period symptoms, and hormone disrupting toxins.
 
Dr. Laura Pipher is a naturopathic doctor who is on a mission to build a tribe of well women who are able to create the life they desire with the health they require.
 
Dr. Alexsia Priolo is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor in Toronto, Canada with a special interest in the menstrual cycle and fertility. Make sure to check out Alexsia's post on PCOS today!  
 
Dr. Sumner was born and raised with naturopathic medicine! She is a fertility guru and reproductive medicine fanatic and she believes in the power of women helping women.

In case you missed it, be sure to download our “How to Have Happy Hormones” guide today for some more tips about topics like Dysmenorrhea, Endometriosis, Hormonal Acne, PCOS, Perimenopause, and PMS.

Also, check out our two most recent blog posts all about breast cancer and PCOS.

Thank you to the wonderful women that made this booklet possible!



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